“During the course of this night you will be given several tasks. Fail at any, she will die. I am watching you always, the clock starts now,” says the mysterious voice of a man (Jon Voight) who has kidnapped former race-car driver Brent Magna’s (Ethan Hawke) wife to get him to do whatever he commands in the action/thriller Getaway.
After finding his home in shambles and getting a phone call on his cell from the mysterious voice telling him to go and steal a custom Shelby Super Snake Mustang, Brent discovers the car has cameras in and on it so the mystery man can watch and listen to his every move. To make matters even more complicated for Brent, after barely escaping the police for the second time and creating multiple crashes and messes at and around the park on the orders of ‘the voice’, a young kid (Selena Gomez) tries to carjack him and ends up his unwilling companion and partner in his high-speed crimes. Their only hope to find a way out and save Brent’s wife is to actually team up and work together to try to discover the mystery man’s ultimate plan and find a way to beat him at his own game.
Chaotic and absurd, Getaway is a ridiculous and unoriginal car racing film which has horrible editing, silly dialogue, and unimpressive car chases. All the characters in this film are barely one-dimensional, with Ethan Hawke giving perhaps the most shallow performance of his career as Brent, constantly reacting and doing whatever he’s told by ‘the voice’. It’s obvious he made the film to just have the opportunity to drive the classic Shelby Super Snake Mustang which doesn’t exist anymore and was specially made for the movie.
Selena Gomez is incredibly bad as ‘the kid’ – her character is never given a name – who at first just wants the car and eventually becomes Brent’s loyal partner in his high-speed chases and his fight against ‘the voice’. Gomez delivers her lines as though she was still reading from the film’s script.
The writing is horrible with dumb, poor and just plain silly dialogue for all the characters except for Jon Voight’s ‘the voice’. The plot or lack thereof makes no sense and the ultimate plan of the mystery man is ridiculous. The film’s editing and direction are both atrocious, with herky-jerky camera work and quick cutaways making the car chase scenes impossible to follow and incoherent.
Ludicrous and unimaginative, Getaway should have gotten a red light instead of a green when the studio was thinking about making it. Moviegoers should slam on their brakes, make a U turn, and be sure to avoid this wreck of a car chase film.
Getaway opens in theaters on August 30, 2013 and is rated PG-13 for intense action, violence and mayhem throughout, some rude gestures, and language.
– By Kevin Finnerty
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